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Rants, Raves, Interesting Science & Awful Puns
July 24, 2005

Hollywood Physics

Not Letting Reality Get In The Way

Technonerds go to movies strictly for entertainment, and of course, the most entertaining part comes after the movie when they can dissect, criticize, and argue the merits of every detail. However, when supposedly serious scenes totally disregard the laws of physics in blatantly obvious ways it's enough to make us retch. The motion picture industry has failed to police itself against the evils of bad physics.
So begins the introduction to a web site entitled Insultingly Stupid Movie Physics. Which is pretty self-explanatory.

In the coffee shop, after seeing the movie, did you ever object that since momentum is conserved, if the firer of a shotgun isn't hurled backward by the recoil, then the victim on the receiving end isn't going to be hurled backward by the blast, either? Wonder what the effects would really be of jumping through a plate glass window? Or reflect that in just 3 minutes of spraying the neighborhood with his Mac 10, the latest pathological avenger-hero would expend 100lb of lead in bullets alone--not to mention 3000 cartridge cases and their magazines. The site goes into all this and more, not just listing the goofs with a smirk, but examining the reasons why with much informative detail in the process.

It also rates some of the better-known screen offerings. Top ratings of "GP" (Good Physics) went to "Road to Perdition" and "Seven Years in Tibet." Bottom-of-the-line with "XP" (Physics from an unknown universe) included "Planet of the Apes," "Armageddon," and "AI."

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